Welcome to Unit 2: Drama! In this unit, students will examine four films: Moonlight, Mosquita y Mari, Carol and Pariah.
Students will debate two scholars’ perspectives on the film’s treatment of queer Black masculinity. While L. H. Stallings critiques the film’s rejection of Black femininity, E. Patrick Johnson praises the film’s treatment of “makeshift masculinity.” Readings to accompany Moonlight include:
Students will use Whitney Monaghan’s essay to examine how this film disrupts typical “coming out”/”coming of age” narratives and prioritizes what is unsaid over what is spoken, and analyze the film alongside Juana Maria Rodríguez’s examination of gestures and queer Latina femme sexualities. Readings to accompany Mosquita y Mari include:
Students will use Victoria L. Smith’s examination of how Todd Haynes constructs heterotopias in Carol through framing, color and other formal elements. Students will also examine Carol alongside Sara Ahmed’s analysis of compulsory heterosexuality and queer affects that develop in response to heteronormativity. Readings to accompany Carol include:
Students will examine dueling perspectives on the narrative’s development of Black motherhood in Pariah, and will apply Audre Lorde’s framework of “the erotic as power” to Pariah. Readings to accompany Pariah include:
As always, feel free to edit or replace this prompt with one that would best fit your course. Here is a suggested prompt.
Consider the concepts we have addressed in this unit, such as quare studies, resistance to coming out narratives, queer gestures, compulsory heterosexuality, queer discomfort, and the erotic as power. Choose a film from the list below, or consult your teacher about an alternate film choice. Using at least one source we’ve examined in this unit, write an essay of at least four pages in which you examine how the director’s use of cinematic techniques relates to one of the concepts we have examined. Try to address no more than two scenes from the film in your analysis. Remember to provide sufficient descriptions of the scenes you are examining, and analyze them using the language of cinema studies. Be sure to include full citations for all sources. Possible films to examine include: